Join Institute of Human Origins researchers for a year-long “master class” in human origins research as they illuminate the many facets of how we “became human” and what that means for the future of humans on the planet. 

In-person—Auditorium (107), Walton Center for Planetary Health
                   All lectures begin at 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm

Each monthly lecture will be posted on the third and fourth Thursday of each month
Online—YouTube (

All lectures are free and open to the public.

Monthly Lecture Series Schedule

February 8 Exploration and Discovery in the Field and the Lab

Gary Schwartz 
The importance of field and laboratory research

Helen Elizabeth Davis
The responsibility and impact of engaging living communities in field research

March 14 Common Origins–Shared Future

Donald Johanson (Pretaped for viewing)
A year of discovery

Sarah Mathew
How contemporary human populations have adapted to the semi-arid savanna

April 11 Meet Your (Nonhuman Primate) Cousins

Ian Gilby
Jane Goodall Institute Gombe Chimpanzee Archive and Database

Kevin Langergraber
The challenge of protecting chimpanzee communities 

May 2 Our Ancient DNA

Anne Stone
What does ancient DNA tells us about human adaptation?

Tom Morgan
Experimenting with human evolution

Summer break—Online only

June 28 Donald Johanson 

A connection to the natural world
(posted on Johanson's birthday)

July A Unique and Cooperative Genus

Joan Silk (posted to YouTube on July 11)
Evolution of communication and cooperation: Children and primates

Kim Hill (posted to YouTube on July 25
Origins of human uniqueness among the life forms on Earth

August A Creative and Innovative Species

Rob Boyd (posted to YouTube on August 8)
What is cumulative culture?

Katie Ranhorn (posted to YouTube on August 22)
From Stone Tools to Artificial Intelligence: Exploring Technological Evolution and Human Uniqueness

In-person lectures resume

Sept 12 Human Adaptability to a Changeable Planet

Chris Campisano
Climate and human evolution

Charles Perreault
Human adaptation through technology/archaeology and culture

October 10 African Rift Valley

Kaye Reed
Large collaborative science projects

Denise Su
Discoveries that changed the story of human evolution: hominins from Woranso-Mille, Hadar, and Ledi-Geraru

November 2024   

Curtis Marean
The great human diaspora

New York City Lecture
Donald Johanson—Lucy’s Legacy

December 5 Lucy 50—A Year in Review

Yohannes Haile-Selassie
IHO’s exciting future